After 2 years, and over 200 postings, I think I’ve finally cracked it – the enigma of the Shroud of Turin.


Postscript (correction: ‘prescript‘) added July 2019:

You have arrived at a 2014 posting. That was the year in which this investigator finally abandoned the notion of the body image being made by direct scorch off a heated metal template (despite many attractions, like negative image, 3D response etc. But hear later: orchestral DA DA!  Yup, still there with the revised technology! DA DA! ).

In its place came two stage image production.

Stage 1: sprinkle white wheaten flour or suchlike vertically onto human subject from head to foot, front and rear  (ideally with initial smear of oil to act as weak adhesive). Shake off excess flour, then cover the lightly coated subject with wet linen. Press down VERTICALLY and firmly (thus avoiding sides of subject). Then (and here’s the key step):

Stage 2: suspend the linen horizontally over glowing charcoal embers and roast gently until the desired degree of coloration, thus ‘developing’ the flour imprint, so as to simulate a sweat-generated body image that has become yellowed with centuries of ageing.

The novel two-stage “flour-imprinting’ technology was unveiled initially on my generalist “sciencebuzz” site. (Warning: one has to search assiduously to find it, and it still uses a metal template, albeit unheated,  as distinct from human anatomy):


sbuzz oct 24, 14 flour 1


So it’s still thermal development of sorts, but with a key difference. One can take imprints off human anatomy (dead or alive!).

A final wash of the roasted flour imprint with soap and water yields a straw-coloured nebulous image, i.e. with fuzzy, poorly defined edges. It’s still a negative (tone-reversed) image that responds to 3D-rendering software, notably the splendid freely-downloadable ImageJ.  (Ring any bells? Better still, orchestral accompaniment – see , correction HEAR earlier – DA DA!))

This 2014 “prescript” replaces the one used for my earlier 2012/2013 postings, deploying abandoned ‘direct scorch’ technology.

Thank you for your patience and forbearance. Here’s where the original posting started:

Original posting starts here:





First there was scorching off a heated statue or bas-relief template, to leave a negative imprint on linen (see site banner above for modelling thereof).

(Apologies btw for the length of this posting, which will seem to go on, and on, and on: I’ll explain later. Clue: this site is STILL down at Page 12 or 13 of Google listings.  Right, where was I? Ah, yes).

Era?  Probably early-to-mid 14th century, consistent with the 1988 radiocarbon dating (1260-1390). eureka

Then there was gradual shedding of the more strongly scorched fibres over many centuries to leave today’s  barely visible image.

Yes, it could be as simple as that.

It could explain why the Shroud image is so scorch-like ( STURP  in 1978 pretty well admitted as much) while,  thanks to ageing,  it now possesses  some subtle characteristics  (ultra-superficiality, half-tone effect etc) that are not easily reproducible in a new scorch.

So don’t just think about the making of the Shroud image (requiring a  few hours or at most days). Think too about its gradual  ‘unmaking’ , i.e  degradation over centuries.  Yes, sad, isn’t it? All things must pass, revered relics icons included.

Please see my immediately preceding postings  for the geekish details at the molecular, fibre, thread and fabric level.

If you’ve time to spare, look too at the 200+  postings  before that.  (Just kidding. My next task is to catalogue them so hopefully  making it easier for folk to see how the case for scorching/image-degradation was gradually arrived at methodically, and some might think,  far, far too slowly).

Nope. It wasn’t  rocket science. It just required a knowledge of fairly basic physics, chemistry and botany. Oh, and a deep distrust of my fellow scientists.

Yes, it  required an open, enquiring,  probably sciency-kind of mind, along with the age-old maxim:  “Take nobody’s word for it”,  least of all that of fellow scientists.

(The world would be a somewhat dysfunctional and probably quite hazardous kind of place without scientific peer review).

See too my earlier posting on WHY the Shroud was fabricated in the first place, and a hint as to why it made its first documented appearance in approx 1356 in a small church in Champagne country approx. 200km to the south-east  of Paris, founded by the knightly Geoffroi de Charny, Lord of Lirey,  and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy.

The so-called Lirey Pilgrim’s badge is a vital part of the jigsaw (enter into your favourite search engine). So too was the recently discovered ‘Machy mould’ for a variant of the Lirey badge with that intriguing addition of the Veronica motif(?) and the ambiguous term SUAIRE  (burial shroud being the conventional meaning, but “face wipe”, ad hoc or otherwise, being an intriguing alternative).

Late addition: “Face wipe”  (suaire) is a genteel description for what, etymologically served as a “sweat cloth”.  Think small sweat cloth (the Veronica Veil); think a post-mortem whole body-sized version thereof  – the Shroud.

Comments welcome.

Afterthought: here in a nutshell is a summary of the ‘scorched fibre attenuation’ hypothesis (I’ll try to think of something snappier):

Stage 1: Production of an obvious scorch to represent a victim of slow roasting (prob.a Templar, but possibly St.Lawrence of Rome).

Stage 2: Deliberate attempt to attenuate the image by the various devices described by Lalaing (boiling in oil etc*), in order to reinvent as a whole body “sweat imprint” to trump the Veil of Veronica, then attracting hordes of pilgrims.

Stage 3: Addition of blood to leave absolutely no doubt that the image was that of the newly crucified Jesus of Nazareth is his burial shroud.

Stage 4: Natural attenuation of the image over centuries to render the image still fainter, acquiring subtle characteristics that render it more of an enigma to modern science.

* see entry for April 14th, 1503 in ‘Shroud History’

Second thoughts (re naming): since this idea of mine is certain to create a bit of a tiff, then why not call it the TIFF hypothesis ( TIFF being an acronym:  Thermal Imprint/Fragile Fibre).   😉

It avoids use of the term “scorch”, which is not sufficiently specific as to mechanism of fibre coloration.

Let’s take a break.


Back again.

Click on link above to see posting immediately preceding this one with the crucial ‘sciency’ stuff, like how the peculiar ‘half-tone’ effect may have arisen as a TWO-STEP process (initial scorching, followed by fracture and loss of the more brittle, more heavily scorched fibres to leave just the minimally scorched ones).

Postscript (added 19 March): on an entirely different aspect (possibly the subject of a future more detailed posting) I came across a “sindonological” site yesterday that attempts to dismiss the scorch hypothesis in just a few lines, by citing the  problem of “image distortion”. That’s based on the argument that if you smear the face or torso of a volunteer with some kind of paint and then wrap the subject in cloth, the imprint is distorted and grotesque (the further from the midline, the greater the lateral distortion).

What that argument overlooks is one small but crucial detail regarding the Shroud image. The sides (and top of the head) are not imaged. So when one imprints off a head or torso, living or inanimate, there is no need to stray very far from the midline, certainly not to the falling away sides.

What’s more, recalling the details of my LOTTO procedure, used to create this site’s banner, one starts with the hot effigy horizontally laid out, one covers with the linen, which hangs freely at the sides, one covers with damp sacking or similar, and then pats gently all over. The patting is done mainly vertically, while moulding around any obvious prominences in the top plane like nose or folded hands etc. One does not pat the sides, which remain unscorched because the linen hangs vertically, with no contact pressure between fabric and template. The end -result is the imprinting off the most elevated planes only of the effigy. Whilst the latter may be 3D, the effect of light vertical patting is to make the imprint look as if it had come from a bas relief.

Here are those images from above (dark v fainter scorch) after 3D-enhancement in Image J. Note the increasingly Shroud like appearance, especially with the imaging of dorsal side feet after turning up the fabric during imprinting - surely hich i

Here’s a reminder of the result from earlier (November 2014), imprinting off a hot brass crucifix at two levels of scorching (fainter one on right).  It’s a small scale experiment, granted,  one that ideally needs repeating with a life-sized effigy, but with that caveat, there is no very obvious degree of lateral distortion, due to the  lack of contact and/or contact pressure between the sides of the template and the fabric.

Note that the radiation exponents are forced to invoke ‘orthogonal projection’ of radiation, to explain lack of side imaging etc,  and emanating from a dead body, for which there are simply no scientific precedents. No such qualifying assumptions, certainly not exotic ones, are needed in the contact scorch model. It is the patting down and moulding to topmost relief  in the vertical plane, the areas that present resistance  to the patter’s palms and fingers, that results in selective imprinting of the highest planes in the effigy i.e. that are square-on to the cloth. The result is an image that may show a little distortion, but probably slight and undetectable to most eyes, especially when one considers the faintness and fuzziness of the Shroud image generally.

Further postscript, added 20th March.

Someone is sure to raise the issue of fluorescence, as the occasion when Mr.Barrie Schwortz crashed in on a Troll Central posting to put me right on the subject.

“Sadly, that’s why I don’t post to blogs very often. I don’t have time to waste debating folks who simply choose to ignore the published science. They obviously have already made up their minds so why bother? Perhaps they have more time on their hands than I do, but I am not interested in arguing for the sake of argument. That is why I never try to convince anyone of anything. Frankly, I don’t really care what this gentleman thinks and will leave him in your and Dan Porter’s able hands.”

Such old world charm!  Here’s a form of words I have just composed. It will have to do for now, at least until we have some molecular fingerprinting data on the mix of fluorescent species that are generated by scorching of linen under different conditions of temperature, oxygen access etc and their subsequent fate on storage etc.

“Uv fluorescence (or lack thereof): frequently cited by promoters of Shroud authenticity as a “killer argument”.”The 1532 scorch marks fluoresce under uv, the Shroud body image does not. Ipso facto, the image cannot be a scorch”.

 How about: “  The 1532 scorches left holes in the cloth with elemental carbon round the edges of the hole. The body image did neither. Therefore the image cannot be a scorch”? Equally sound logic?

 The 1532 fire caused high temperature pyrolysis, sufficient to degrade cellulose and produce compounds such as hydroxymethylfurfural, and probably aromatics too by condensation reactions.  The temperatures required to produce a scorch on linen are not high enough to degrade cellulose, at least by brief contact. It is the more reactive hemicelluloses that are pyrolysed. The properties of the new chemicals formed (uv fluorescence etc) from hemicelluloses at low temperatures are different from those produced from cellulose at higher temperatures.”


Folk have asked why I don’t simply get hold of a uv lamp and make a start in filling in the huge gaps in our knowledge of scorching and fluorescence (similar to Hugh Farey’s studies reported previously on this site, with a greater focus on  what’s happening at the molecular level).

But it would be more “kitchen lab” stuff, wouldn’t it, and easy target for the debunkers on Troll Central? There’s also an element of biohazard – my eyes have suffered enough in the past from previous exposure to lab-generated uv (a brief glance  at burning magnesium as a chemistry teacher was enough to induce instant headache and nausea).

Here’s a hint as to what I would do if I had proper lab facilities. I would produce scorches at different temperatures and aerobic/anaerobic conditions. Reaction products (low MWt) would be leached with various combinations of solvents (chloroform/methanol/water), the extracts concentrated and run on TLC. Individual bands, fluorescent ones especially, would be eluted and then injected in a mass spectrometer for identification. The stability of any fluorescent properties would be studied, with exposure to air and other oxidants for different times, different temperatures.

Yet another postscript/afterthought

Here’s the tail-end of a  sniping comment that appeared a few days ago on Troll Central (I’ve omitted the slander that precedes it, attempting to impugn my honesty):

“May be one day I’ll have the pleasure to study a paper from your investigations on chemical scorching of linen fibers proving that a Shroud-like image with ALL PROPERTIES LIKE THE ORIGINAL (namely microscopic, absence of medulla coloration, colored fibers side by side with non colored fibers, 3D encoding etc.) can be obtained by this method.”

Antero de Frias Moreira
(Centro Português de Sindonologia)

Well now, Dr. Moreira, that’s quite a tall order. Reproduce all properties, like the “original”?  But we don’t have the original. We have it many centuries after it was formed. How are we supposed to know what aspects are original, and what are age-related.

Actually, I can tell you with almost 100% certainty what is original. It’s that twin-track scorched-in crease one sees at chin level (and a fainter one at the top of the head).



Those scorched-in creases have been the subject of two of my previous postings, the first over 2 years ago on my sciencebuzz site.

Why does the Turin Shroud appear to have scorched-in crease marks? Tell-tale signature for medieval forging?

The only way I can see how they were formed was by pressing a hot template into linen, or pressing linen down onto a hot template, such that the fabric became creased due to flexure over the 3D relief of the template.

Or maybe you have a better idea?  If so let’s be hearing it please. The onus is not only on we  sceptics to explain ALL the features of the Shroud image. It’s on the authenticists too, especially those features that suggest the image is a non-natural, non-miraculous artefact.

Update: Monday 5 May

Home page: science buzz

Home page: science buzz

Yup, this blogger can still be followed on his ‘science buzz’ site.  It’s general science-based, but still has postings now and again (and again and again…) on the ever-intriguing TS.

Monday 6th October 2014

Want to read more on this site, but don’t know where to start (you masochist you)?

Maybe this will help. It’s a listing of all my postings in rank descending order, according to the site host’s statistics package:

Top Posts for all days ending 2014-10-06 (Summarized)

All Time

Title Views
Home page / Archives 13,726
Blood-grouping the Shroud of Turin – like trying to sort apples from oranges in the dark wearing boxing gloves. 3,039
The Shroud of Turin – let’s focus on that hemicellulose coating on the linen fibres … It could explain a great deal 2,008
Did you know there is a high-definition image of the Turin Shroud (most of it still under wraps)? 1,025
The Turin Shroud Man is not a photograph, but a negative THERMOGRAPH – and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise… 784
Raymond N Rogers: STURP supremo chemist (RIP) who sadly lost the plot (due to an apparent blind spot, it would seem, for those ultra-thin and highly superficial primary cell walls of flax and linen fibres). 683
Shroud Scope 8: 372 impossible scourge marks (surely?) on the Shroud of Turin 580
Is the Man on the Turin Shroud a pseudo-negative imprint from a DEATH MASK? (Could that be why the modern-day photographic negative looks so much better than the original?). 467
Comparison of Lirey Badge (Cluny medal) depicting the Shroud of Turin in the14th century with the 1865 Forgeais drawing – for open discussion 466
Thibault’s Principle: true for a stepped template, maybe – but not an artistic bas relief with rounded contours and gentler relief 433
A comprehensive new theory detailing a medieval origin for the Turin Shroud: a scorching onto linen – and human consciousness – of the last of the Knights Templar. 419
Was the Shroud of Turin intended as a visual double entendre – with an martyred Knight Templar serving as proxy for the crucified Christ? 414
Shroudie-Alert: Day 12: time now to write that long-overdue letter to the Royal Society… 396
A leisurely, thinking-aloud appraisal of those recently-released Shroud photomicrographs. 378
Seven short and simple answers to the Shroud of Turin Enigma Challenge – and a plea for the reporting of real science… 376
Shroud Scope 10: my very own gallery of 20 close-up views of the Shroud – all lightly photo-edited for optimised colour-differentiation 359
Modelling the image of the Turin Shroud – an interrupted experiment using onion epidermis – just one cell thick. 351
Refining a model: children’s ‘invisible ink’ trick with lemon juice allows thermal imprinting (“scorching”) at a much reduced temperature 346
What are you – stupid or something? Of course there’s a perfect correspondence between the Shroud and that face cloth… 336
Corona discharge for Shroud of Turin – advance notice of my paper for presentation at the Quantum Theology 2012 Conference, Instituto Polytecnica of Mamma Mia, Italy 310
Who says the Shroud is not a scorch mark – and more to the point, WHY? 303
Charring, fluorescence and image-forming mechanisms. Beware Shroudology’s junk science and flawed logic… 280
“Let’s poke ‘em with hokum…” 277
The Pope calls it “an icon written with blood”. I say it’s an elaborate medieval con, still being promoted for all its worth… 275
Shroudie Congresses – places where fantasies are peddled… 269
Could this be clinching evidence that the Shroud image is a contact scorch? 266
Still more character assassination allowed, indeed fostered, on That Other Site … 239
After 2 years, and over 200 postings, I think I’ve finally cracked it – the enigma of the Shroud of Turin. 234
Time maybe to re-think the received wisdom about the entire Shroud image being “highly superficial”? 233
No, dear Yannick, Adler and Heller did not PROVE it was real blood on the Shroud of Turin – even if some real blood is now present. 233
Stephen Jones BSc. Grad Dip.Ed persists in his mistaken belief that the Shroud image is a photograph. (Where’s the scientific evidence?) 227
STURP’s Raymond N. Rogers, top-notch (?) thermochemist, appeared to have abandoned thermodynamics completely when he argued for that implausible Maillard reaction 222
Shroud of Turin: one man’s scrutiny and interpretation of what he calls “clack” (i.e. dribbles of reddish-brown pigment) in real time 219
End-of-year brain-teaser for Shroudies: I challenge you to explain this apparent contradiction… 218
Can one bottle a scorch image? Could similar technology be applied to the Shroud image (scorch or otherwise)? 209
Guest posting from Hugh Farey (yipee – another science bod!): here’s a snapshot of his current studies of scorching and uv fluorescence. 209
Time maybe for a radical re-jigging of the scorch model – and of the alleged superficiality of the Shroud image too? 209
Brief message to Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, re your hijacked posting on pseudoscience and the Turin Shroud 205
I think I now know why STURP chemist Raymond Rogers detected hydroxyproline in the blood on the Shroud – and it’s to do with those medicinal leeches… 201
It’s clever, some might say pretty, but is it science? 201
No Mr. Breault – the blood IS on the hair (because that’s where the artist intended it to be) 199
If the Turin Shroud is just a heat scorch, then why does it not fluoresce under uv light? (The late Ray Rogers provides a possible answer). 197
It’s still looking good for leech digesta (as the source of “blood” on the Shroud of Turin) 196
OK, so there is bilirubin in the Shroud bloodstains (or so we are told). But how much precisely? 196
Did blood-sucking leeches help to establish – at least in some eyes – the ‘authenticity’ of the Shroud of Turin? 186
It would seem that those linen fibre nodes, aka dislocations, are prime targets for a thermal imprint from a hot template (“scorch mark”) 186
Why are the ‘radiationists’ still plugging their imaginary physics and chemistry? 183
Shroudie-Alert: Day 11 Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI – what is one to make of his devotion to the Shroud (despite that radiocarbon dating)? 173
More thoughts on the fragility of image-bearing fibres on the Shroud of Turin 169
One very good reason why the Turin Shroud could not POSSIBLY have been produced by scorching onto linen – and 10 even better ones why it could. 167
About 167
A scientist’s eye view of how the iconic Turin Shroud image came about – a happy accident of thermographic and photographic inversion? 160
Draft document discovered in the paper-skip at my local recycling centre: “Ten killer arguments for opposing any re-run of the radiocarbon dating.” 158
Try not to be ‘substandard’ when questioning Sir’s grasp of the facts – to say nothing of his slanted narrative… 158
Yet more ‘Fanti-sy’ from Fanti, Faccini et al, this time on the spear so-called “wound”… 152
Faking it Part 3: Why do early copies of the Shroud show so little evidence of the in-your-face blood stains we see today? (Some won’t like the answer..). 152
Flow chart summarising a novel hypothesis for how the Shroud of Turin came into existence (and fooled generations of scholars) 149
Simple physics says there are 7 ways of producing a scorch on linen 148
Dear Royal Society. Time maybe to take a hard line on those who peddle Turin Shroud pseudoscience? 144
Critique of Rogers’ so-called vanillin clock for dating the Shroud: why was Stanley T. Kosiewicz not a co-author (and where’s the data)? 139
A reply to Dan Porter and his Shroud of Turin associates re the significance of the Lirey Pilgrim’s Badge 138
Message from Mr.Barrie Schwortz, President of STERA Inc (The self-styled “Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, Inc”) 138
Daniel R. Porter’s ‘Troll Central’ by any other name. 135
ColinB’s cunning plan for re-dating the Shroud of Turin 127
Shroud Scope 1: Let’s take a closer look at the bloodstains on the Shroud of Turin. Correction – the images that are interpreted as bloodstains. 114
Shroud Scope 3: Now let’s take a closer look at the wrist – the one with the bloodstain and, supposedly, an underlying nail wound. 110
Two things you should do before reading Barrie Schwortz’s response to my criticism of STERA (The Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association, aka Shroud (+) Copyright Inc) 110
Shroud Scope 4: No matter what process mysteriously produced a negative ‘snapshot’ of the Man on the Shroud, it captured that of creases in the linen too. Why? 109
An open letter to the President of the Royal Society. Would you and your Fellows be willing to assist in separating the science from the pseudoscience? 103
The Turin Shroud: but for the pseudo science it would have been dismissed long ago as a medieval fake 98
Hello, all you Shroud sceptics out there 97
Why there is a pressing need for higher definition Shroud images to be placed in the public domain (Barrie Schwortz’s STERA please note). 94
What is a Shroud “expert” – and is he or she to be trusted? 94
Is it safe to have ammonia in the home? Won’t it turn all your starched linen yellow via a Rogers’ Maillard reaction? 90
How’s this for Mickey Mouse statistics from Stephen E.Jones BSc, Grad.Dip.Ed? 90
Shroudie-Alert: Day1.Chief topic: the Lirey Pilgrim’s Badge and that enigmatic chain… 89
Shroudie-Alert: Day 10. A new(ish) take on a very old amulet 87
Shroudie-Alert: Day 3. Chief topic: the Lirey badge and my search for Ian Wilson’s “nails and pincers”. 87
Mickey Mouse science now in the crosshairs. 86
The Turin Shroud: Spotlight on a particular ?-mark stain. Some call it blood; I call it CLACK… 85
Antibes market, Saturday 1st December 2012 85
One picture can be worth a thousand words … 84
Nul points, Dr.Thibault Heimburger. You have arrived at an over-hasty, ill-judged diagnosis… The patient is NOT dead… 83
Reply – in small considered instalments – to Thibault Heimburger re my “Sorry Mr.Rogers” posting 83
And now for something completely different… 82
Doh! I can think of only 19 reasons why the Shroud image was made by thermal imprinting (“scorching”) onto linen from a heated effigy 81
Is agenda-driven ‘theophysics’ the real reason why John Jackson’s Shroud Center of Colorado is STILL pushing its ne’er- do- well radiation model? 80
Needed urgently – scorch scanner (gd wkg cond) 80
Have you seen the new Wikipaedia (UK) entry on ‘scorchophobia’? It’s a must for all Shroudies! 79
Shroud Scope triumphs again 79
Let’s take a closer look at a subset of bloodstains that STURP says were imprinted before the body image… (Warning: this post is not for those who are convinced of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin)… 79
Yet more Mickey Mouse science (despite a Google top-ranking). 78
Hugh Farey, aficionado of linen fibre pyrolysis, has some more scorches for our delectation… 78
Dan Porter and his 2002 Long Bet,10 years on. Was he right? I say NO.Time has proved him spectacularly WRONG… 76
Let’s take a closer look at one of the peculiar blood stains on the Shroud – the one in the hair shaped like a question mark 76
Why is the Shroud image so superficial? More on the ongoing battle between science and pseudoscience. 75
Was the blood on the Shroud applied with a monkish felt-tip pen (well, a somewhat primitive version thereof)? 75
Mr. Barrie Schwortz, President of STERA Inc: please stop proselytizing narrative-driven so-called science. 73
A compression scorch from a hot template ought theoretically to leave a tell-tale signature on linen… 71
The new all-embracing, all subsuming ABC paradigm – now taking the world of sindonology by (almost) perfect storm…. 71
If you take away the blood from the Man in the Shroud, what are you left with? 71
How a cunning 14th century visuo-semantic marketing ploy helped establish the ‘authenticity’ of the Shroud – and corrupted the French language into the bargain. 70
Certainly there’s a blood stain on the wrist. But where’s the puncture wound, exit or otherwise? 70
Shroudie-Alert: Day 4. Mainly about the Lirey badge, the Cluny Museum, Pope Benedict XVI and the remarkable staying power of junk science… 69
Quickie response to Thibault Heimburger re that 1949 Lea and Hannan paper on the casein-glucose Maillard reaction. 67
Why is the Shroud image so superficial, half-tone and striated? Is it on raised ribs of primary cell wall hemicellulose? 67
Is it true that the Shroud image (“unlike a scorch”) ceases to be visible when backlit and viewed with transmitted light? A reader comments… 67
Doubly puzzling news item regarding Shroud promoter Russ Breault. 66
“Heating linen cannot give a superficial coloration” says Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro. Oh yes it can – and here’s the evidence… 65
My research credentials (in three different areas over a 20 year time period) 65
Shroudie-Alert: Day 9. Is it real human blood on the Shroud? A reply to Richard Savage, aka Jabba. 64
Shroudie-Alert: Day 7 Shroud Mk 1 – somebody’s private joke (in appallingly bad taste)? 64
Shroud Scope 2: Now let’s take a closer look at the hair on the Shroud of Turin. Correction – those parts of the image which from their location are interpreted as hair. 63
Here’s what Alan D. Adler could (should?) have done to investigate the porphyrins of those anomalous Shroud bloodstains. 59
No, the Shroud of Turin was NOT used to wrap Jesus. It was a 14th century thought experiment. It was not used to wrap anyone. 58
Shroud Scope 5: now for a more down-to-earth interpretation of those hands than the one supplied by those wacky Shroudologists. 58
Shroudie-alert: Day 5 Time to go for broke (before Hugh Farey nips in ahead of me) 58
Ten questions for anyone claiming that “a miraculous flash of light” was needed to create the Man on the Shroud 57
To all those who persist in claiming that the Shroud image is far too superficial to be a simple heat scorch: I say they are 100% wrong – with some help from WD40 – no uv laser beams needed. 57
Shroud Scope 9: how simple photo-editing may help resolve controversial issues regarding the blood and body images 56
Are the Godfathers of Shroudology really so ignorant of elementary chemical principles? 56
A revised flow-chart model for why the Turin Shroud was first documented in 14th century France. 55
Shroud Scope 6: is that transverse stitching across the dorsal view – or just an artefact of imaging? 55
Boring post, boring topic (“Which is weft, which is warp?”) 53
A holding reply to Thibault Heimburger MD re the longevity of blood stains on the Shroud of Turin 51
Faking it Part 2 : The Turin Shroud – a medieval marketing coup based on cleverly-contrived ambiguity … 50
A challenging scorch assignment that I had been putting off, and off, and off… 50
Sorry, Mr.Rogers (RIP), but you got it wrong about banding in the Shroud image ruling out linen modification 48
Shroudie-Alert: Day 8. How was the Lirey Shroud able to morph from cruel in-joke to Holy Relic? Did the Lirey badge provide a handy smokescreen? 48
How long before the grey scales fall from people’s eyes, and the Shroud image accepted as a thermal imprint (“scorch”)?? 47
10 reasons for thinking that the Shroud of Turin does NOT show a crucified man (more likely a barbecued Knight Templar) 47
My response to a typical ‘Ron-putdown’ arising from Dan Porter’s latest pirating of my content 47
The Thoughts of Paolo Di Lazzaro – still more Mickey Mouse science 47
Yes, the elaborate blood stains on the Shroud were indeed a true work of art, Dan Porter… 46
Today’s project – to produce a new chronological flow chart, proposing how a scorch image was ingeniously re-invented as a whole body “sweat imprint” (to suggest kinship with the Veil of Veronica). 45
Glad to be of service, “anonymous”… 44
Of course heat can produce a superficial coloration – I ask those who say it can’t to do my simple experiment 43
The jerk replies… 42
Reply to Bailey Packard re her Rez Project video – sadly pseudoscience by any other name… 41
My immediate response to a comment on “Did the bloodstains really precede image formation on the Shroud of Turin?” 40
Shroud Scope 7: Why call it blood if one’s not sure it is blood? A sceptic’s dilemma 39
Never forget heat CONVECTION (especially you who proselytise radiation models of the Shroud of Turin) 39
Response to Jos Verhulst: delving in the literature confirms my hunch that the Maillard browning reaction is EXQUISITELY sensitive to temperature – especially in the environmental range of interest to Shroudologists… 39
Today is the day the gloves come off.. 38
Shroudie-Alert: Day 6 37
Links to my immediate three-part response to Thibault Heimburger’s critique of the scorch hypothesis 35
A flow chart summary of the “hot Templar/hot template”model of the Shroud of Turin 35
Yawn: yet another new sighting of the Shroud in medieval art (well, a ‘water stain’ anyway) 34
Is the Lirey badge telling us that the man on the TS had been barbecued on a HORIZONTAL GRILL – like St.Lawrence? 33
Did John Jackson really demolish scorching as a mechanism? Maybe someone could explain to me how (in simple terms) 32
Am I the only one to have spotted that the Lirey Shroud was piggybacked on the Veil of Veronica – which may explain why the French still call it the Suaire (“sweat-impregnated facecloth”) de Turin”? 32
Was the Shroud image imprinted from a medieval life-size version of a crucifix? 31
A possible new approach to learning more about the chemical make-up of the Shroud’s image 31
What can one conclude from looking at the point of closest contact between frontal and dorsal Shroud images? 31
Here are my most-viewed postings to date (Aug 2012) on the Shroud of Turin 30
Too ludicrous for words… 30
My hypothesized link between the Shroud of Turin and the Templar executions is reinforced – via the Lirey badge and its reverse-side diamond trellis. 29
Building (sand) castles in the air – and maybe clay ones too… 29
A question for Stephen Jones re his so-called “wounds” on the Shroud (not to be confused with bloodstains) 29
Raymond N. Rogers, RIP. STURP’s out-of-control chemist, deficient in a knowledge of plant cell anatomy. 29
My ranking of spurious and/or unsupported claims made by Shroudologists 28
A free tutorial for Stephen E.Jones, BSc, Grad. Dip. Ed. on set theory 28
Beware: with each passing decade and century, the Shroud image sheds vital evidence as to its origins. 28
Twelve questions one might ask about the Shroud of Turin – to which the answer is NO… 28
Change of tack … 28
Change of direction 27
More thoughts on why LOTTO is the way to go. 27
I’m glad you asked me that Paul (even if posted to The Other Site) … 27
My checklist of key criteria that need to be reproduced in modelling the Shroud image mechanism – and the extent to which thermal imprinting (“scorching by direct contact”) could be claimed to meet those criteria 26
Can you see those supposedly inimitable discontinuities and striations in Shroud image fibres? 26
Shroudie-Alert: Day 2. Chief topic: the Lirey badge, the chain and the so-called “blood belt” 25
Does the cotton contamination affect a much bigger area of the Turin Shroud than first thought (say 4.4 x 1.1m)? 25
STURP got its priorities entirely wrong. Result – no real scientific insights. 25
Calling all Shroudies: have you ever seen a Shroud image fibre in close-up? If so – where? 24
Hugh Farey tells it the way it is – science is not about the absolute truth (whatever that is) … 23
Yes, there is clear evidence of tenting, Thibault, with all-or-nothing imaging (yet another nail in the coffin for radiation models) 23
Response to a confontational question on from “anonymous” re modelling of the Shroud image. 23
I spy (?) lifting/lowering ropes on the Lirey badge (which point to ROASTING, not CRUCIFIXION). Time to rethink the “Shroud of Turin” 22
“Colin never produced results at all, except for some scorched images on cloth …” 22
On the meaning of “superficial”, as in a superficial wound – or scorch … 22
Eureka! 21
News update: the ‘hot Templar/hot template’ hypothesis appears on a Telegraph discussion. 19
Time methinks to refresh this blog’s tagline (and hopefully improve its dismal Google ranking). 17
Checklists – easy things to cut-and-paste – but is the inquisitor genuinely interested in one’s answers? 17
The more you have, the more you hoard … (Barrie’s Song) 17
Those “unique” 3D properties of the Shroud seem to be proving more of a hindrance than a help to those keen to promote their New Age radiation physics. 16
How come the Shroud image looks so fuzzy and ghost-like? 16
Was the Mark 1 TS image – a presumed heat scorch – relaunched at Lirey as a notional sweat imprint? 16
Does anyone have a bronze head they can lend me? 16
Message to Stephen E.Jones: I am not “Weaving Fan” 16
The ‘hot Templar/hot template’ hypothesis finally makes it into the mainstream media. 15
The arrow of time – and entropy 14
Short summary: why I too think the scorch image on the Turin Shroud represents Jacques de Molay (Templar Grand Master, barbecued Paris, 1314) 14
This title will not improve this blog’s Google ranking. But then, what will? 14
Message to Dan Porter, owner of laid-back pro-authenticity site 13
“This strange hybrid method, through which a literary genre convinces itself it is a science” 13
One man’s jaundiced view of the aftermath of the ’88 radiocarbon dating. 13
One final attempt to make the priggish “anonymous” on Dan Porter’s site aware of his profoundly unscientific approach to the TS. 11
Same old, same old from Dan Porter’s site – one rule for me, another for pro-authenticity Shroudologists… 10
We need to know much more about the chemistry of linen pyrolysis before excluding the scorch hypothesis 10
An attempt to invalidate my own “improved” thermal imprinting procedure: 2. Microscopic level 10
Why are Shroud image fibres mechanically weaker than non-image bearing fibres? Pyrolysis of core hemicelluloses? 9
Still more manure from the owner of 8
Beware the mirage of apparent reverse-side scorching produced by the ‘BROIL’ effect. 7
Was this how the Turin Shroud was made? Read on… 5
An attempt to invalidate my own “improved” thermal imprinting procedure: 1. Macroscopic level 5
Oh dear. One of our comments is missing… 3

About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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6 Responses to After 2 years, and over 200 postings, I think I’ve finally cracked it – the enigma of the Shroud of Turin.

  1. colinsberry says:

    This blogger’s ISP has left him in the lurch, yet again (second time in just over a month). There may be indecent delays in responding to comments or emails while he waits for the not-fit-for-purpose BT to deliver on its obligations.

    cc. Colin Berry 15th March 2014.

    2pm (local) 15th March : Broadband restored. But after lengthy correspondence this last month or so with BT, I’ve decided to set up a new blog. The title is still undecided, but a possible one is “What can we fall-guys do about the ISP non-protection racket?”.

  2. colinsberry says:

    Hugh Farey’s idea that the TS may have been an acid rather than heat job is an interesting one – it would be hard to distinguish between acid-induced chemical as distinct from thermal (pyrolytic) dehydration – especially if there were a combination of the two, with mildly elevated temperature, or even prolonged storage at ordinary environmental temperatures, producing an acid-catalysed thermal effect.

    One thing I did not appreciate until recently (that might have caused some hesitation in pushing the Templar/barbecue link) is my belated realization that the Shroud in post-medieval Europe was perceived – at least by some contemporaries – as a “sweat imprint” – i.e. a full body-sized version of the Veil of Veronica (see a previous posting re “SUAIRE” on the Machy mould for a variant of the Lirey Pilgrims’ badge).

    Suppose a medieval forger, starting with a blank sheet of linen (instead of a pre-existing scorch, still my preferred scenario), had wanted to simulate a sweat imprint, one that was fairly faint and yellowed, but importantly still a negative image to convey the idea of imprinting off 3D features. What kind of chemicals might he have employed? If you want to develop a new “chemical imprint” model, you have to think like a medieval (proto)chemist, with jars and vials, full of corrosive or smelly liquids, as distinct from blacksmith with a forge and bellows.

    PS. Ring any bells? Yes, we’re into Knight/Lomas territory here, with a hideously tortured, semi-crucified Jacques de Molay leaving his imprint on 14th century linen, via the action of lactic acid and some ingenious if maybe tendentious chemical conjecturing (singlet oxygen etc).

  3. colinsberry says:

    Sunday am: Have just added this on to the end of the posting as an afterthought:

    Here in a nutshell is a summary of the 'scorched fibre attenuation' hypothesis (I'll try to think of something snappier):

    Stage 1: Production of an obvious scorch to represent a victim of slow roasting (prob.a Templar, but possibly St.Lawrence of Rome).

    Stage 2: Deliberate attempt to attenuate the image by the various devices described by Lalaing (boiling in oil etc), in order to reinvent as a whole body “sweat imprint” to trump the Veil of Veronica, then attracting hordes of pilgrims.

    Stage 3: Addition of blood to leave absolutely no doubt that the image was that of the newly crucified Jesus of Nazareth is his burial shroud.

    Stage 4: Natural attenuation of the image over centuries to render the image still fainter, acquiring subtle characteristics that render it more of an enigma to modern science.

  4. colinsberry says:

    Second addition to end of posting:

    Second thoughts (re naming): since this idea of mine is certain to create a bit of a tiff, then why not call it the TIFF hypothesis (TIFF being an acronym: Thermal Imprint/Fragile Fibre). 😉

    It avoids use of the term “scorch”, which is not sufficiently specific as to mechanism of fibre coloration.

  5. colinsberry says:

    Stop press: I’ve been taking another look at Shroud Scope close-ups, especially at chin and small-of-back regions (hint hint). If I’m not mistaken, I’ve discovered smoking gun evidence for the hypothesis I’ve been pushing for over two years, namely that the Shroud image was produced by thermal imprinting from a heated template UNDER COMPRESSION. The feature of interest that provides the extra evidence has in fact been the subject of two previous postings, the first on my sciencebuzz site.

    Given the way this site is virtually ignored by Google (presently page 12 on its listings under (shroud of turin) I shan’t post my latest discovery here, only to have it ignored. I’ll post it to sciencebuzz, not because it’s a Google (blogspot) site – I wish it were otherwise – but simply as a way of drawing a line, at least for now, under this present site that has accrued over 200 postings, yet failed to achieve lift-off in terms of visibility and impact.

    OK, maybe some or all the fault is mine – I post mainly content, and leave it to others to judge its merits or otherwise, and pass the word that there is still new thinking. Irrespective, the blogosphere, the SYSTEM is patently not working for ‘kitchen-lab’ science, and I’m not in the business of flogging a dead horse.

    Expect that new posting on sciencebuzz in a few days at most. Look for the term “S-creasing”,

  6. colinsberry says:

    Here as promised is a link to my latest posting, which is on my (neglected) sciencebuzz site:

    Modelling two distinct types of BAKED-IN crease in the still-enigmatic Shroud of Turin, ones that provide important clues to the image-imprinting mechanism.

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